Bruce Sterling on Fri, 11 Nov 2005 10:08:47 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Beltway bandit gibbers in glee as Eurocore slides toward abject collapse

*Hey, guess what, Europeans.  Because you are insufficiently like 
Bush's America, you're all doomed.

*I can't believe anybody else will post Frank Gaffney's neocon ravings on nettime, but, who knows,
maybe this screed will pep up the list in these days of gathering woe; for instance, maybe all the
Eurocyberfeminists of a breeding age will rush out pronto and have three kids, just to spite him.

*I was in Zurich yesterday, and kinda wish I had stayed there.


Decision Brief

8 November 2005

No. 05-D 56


(Washington, D.C.): Not too long ago, the conventional wisdom was that Europe was going to emerge
as a unified and mighty economic and political superpower. We were told it would engage in earnest,
if friendly, competition with the United States, but that -- thanks to its substantially larger
population and productive capacity -- the European Union (EU) would inevitably displace America on
the world stage.

It took less than a fortnight of rioting in France, and now in several other countries of what
Donald Rumsfeld has called "Old Europe," to lay bare the preposterousness of this prospect. Even
before Islamists first took to the streets of Parisian suburbs, the EU was a house of cards waiting
to be toppled, or burned down.

The End of Illusions

As usual, underlying conditions are clearer with hindsight. It is now unmistakable that Europe
faces a "perfect storm" of socio-economic, demographic, military and Islamist challenges. As a
result, the European Union is poised in the coming decades to become, at best, a strife-ridden,
second-rate power, unwilling or unable to help defend the Free World. Alternatively, it may simply
cease to exist as an entity, or perhaps cease even to be part of the Free World.

On the socio-economic front, Europeans of all political persuasions have long shared a belief in
the virtues of the "social market economy." By this they meant a modified capitalist system,
characterized by considerable state intervention and the fabled "social safety net." It was an
arrangement intended to guarantee economic growth and prosperity, on the basis of harmonious labor
relations, social cohesion, and economic solidarity between the classes.

Today, however, the European project is in shambles. Somewhere along the way, its social market
model lost steam and became counterproductive to economic growth. Current statistics indicate that
by the mid-1990s, Europe had already begun falling behind the United States, as measured both by
GDP and productivity growth.

The future looks even more bleak. Structural problems are likely to limit EU growth to a maximum of
1.5 percent by 2015 and even less than that thereafter. All this points to a sobering conclusion
that few in Europe are willing to admit: the vaunted social market has come to the end of the line,
in the age of information and globalization.

More importantly, Europe is just entering a demographic maelstrom that will severely limit its
chances for reform. It is expected to produce a contraction of the native European population of
between 100 and 150 million -- a loss of one-third -- by 2050.

There are only two possible solutions that could theoretically prevent the projected demographic
crisis from becoming a reality: (1) increasing the birth rate or (2) increasing immigration.
Because the first is virtually impossible in the short- to medium-term and unlikely in the longer
term, immigration would appear to be the solution of choice.

In fact, although virtually all EU governments try to discourage it, significant legal and illegal
immigration -- estimated at more than 2 million yearly -- does take place. This, indeed, is the
main reason Europe's population has not yet started declining.

Unfortunately, as events in France are demonstrating, the sort of immigration that has been taking
place actually makes things worse. For one thing, it places additional burdens on the social
welfare system rather than contributing to its solvency.

The Islamofascist Threat

For another, such immigration has created an even greater political challenge: the extensive and
ongoing radicalization of the burgeoning Muslim population throughout Europe. In the past
half-century, the Muslim population in Western Europe has exploded from less than 250,000 to
between 15 and 20 million. Although this still represents only a small percentage of the EU=92s
total inhabitants, the Muslim subset is not only rapidly growing. It has also become progressively

Today, an intolerant and violent extremist political ideology known as Islamofascism has taken hold
throughout Muslim communities not just in France but in much of Western Europe. Moreover, this
fast-spreading strain is already on its way to becoming the dominant face of Islam in the EU. It is
profoundly anti-Western, supported directly or indirectly by Saudi sources, and marked by a
wholesale rejection of such fundamental European values as democracy, secularism, separation of
church and state, human rights, and modernity.

The Bottom Line

It is high time for European officials and the rest of us to understand that Islamism is about
sedition, not religion, and that it needs to be treated as such. Extremists preaching violence and
jihad against their fellow citizens should be thrown in jail, and radical organizations, subversive
"charities," and hate-preaching mosques should be closed down.

For its part, the United States must contemplate a future in which Europe is no longer the reliable
ally, philosophical soulmate, and fellow pillar of Western civilization that it has been for the
past two centuries. In the worst case, some regions or countries of an Islamicized Europe could
conceivably become an adversary in the longer term.

The United States should continue to offer friendship and assistance to those Europeans that share
our vision of freedom, individual responsibility, and opportunity. In particular, a closer
relationship with the United Kingdom and the Eastern Europe countries (for example) would include
political, economic, and military ties, as well as policy coordination. =46rom such initiatives may
come a new transatlantic alliance of surpassing importance in the conflict now breaking out in

Europe itself: the War for the Free World.

The above publication of the Center for Security Policy can be found, fully formatted and
hyperlinked to related documents, on the World Wide

Web at the following address:

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